Life expectancy in the United States rose in 2022, the first increase since the COVID pandemic began, according to new federal data. But those gains were not enough to compensate for the years of life lost to the virus, which remains one of the nation’s top causes of death.
“Misinformation research is a young field, so diverse approaches are good and important,” says Claire Wardle, co-director of the Information Futures Lab, professor of the practice of health services, policy and practice at the Brown University School of Public Health, and a co-author of the study. “What’s also clear is that this field emerged after concerns about the role of misinformation in elections, so many of the key researchers come from political science. As we have seen misinformation impact a number of different topics and issues, it is time researchers from different disciplines investigating misinformation come together to connect the dots.”
Excerpt: ...living with uncertainty is scary. “We can blame the people who are pushing misinformation, but we can’t take away the fact that a lot of this is caused by the absence of answers,” says [Claire] Wardle. “We might not have all the science, but by saying nothing we create vacuums that get filled by conspiracy theories.”
Excerpt: The School of Public Health’s Pandemic Center will host a screening of the new documentary “Shot in the Arm” Monday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy and executive produced by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the film explores the history of vaccine hesitancy and its relevance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Excerpt: The priority, however, is to get vaccinated before sickness starts spreading. Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiology professor and director of the Pandemic Center at the Brown University School of Public Health, previously told Inverse that the best time to get inoculated is, essentially, before you’re infected. Of course, when flu, Covid-19, and RSV cases rise in later autumn, you’re much more likely to contract at least one of them.
Excerpt: Naming Omicron subvariants after creatures or asteroids can make them sound more unique or threatening than they are, said Jennifer Nuzzo, director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University’s School of Public Health.
“People think this variant is something we’ve never seen before that we’re not going to have immunity against,” she said. “And that’s not at all true.”
Excerpt: Covid was exceptional in 2020 when it was a new and deadly illness that tore into an unprepared human population. In 2023, widespread immunity — alongside tools such as masks, testing, treatments, updated boosters and improved ventilation — can empower people to protect themselves and others while resuming most normal activities.
“I’m less worried than I was last year, and I was less worried last year than I was the year before,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Brown University School of Public Health. “But I’m aware, and I’m looking and trying to make sure nothing changes.”
Excerpt: This updated formula most closely targets the Omicron variant XBB.1.5, but Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiology professor and director of the Pandemic Center at the Brown University School of Public Health, tells Inverse that it should also protect people against other strains such as EG.5.
Excerpt: Epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo, who heads the Brown University Pandemic Center, saw value in DEEP VZN but said it likely was going to trigger a “land mine of hearings” in Congress. She also questioned why it was housed at USAID in the first place. “It seems like the wrong vehicle for this kind of work,” Nuzzo says. “If anything, you’d want to do it through a science agency that goes through an external peer-review process to make sure that the projects being proposed are the most rigorous and most likely to net scientific benefit. And that just seems like a weird line of work for a development agency.”
On this special episode of the 5 Things podcast: In the beginning, people suffering from what is now called long COVID were forced into the shadows. Their symptoms - debilitating tiredness, lung issues and non-specific pain - didn’t seem to fit together. Over 3 years into the pandemic, the medical community is still grappling with the question of treatment. Why has it remained such a mystery? Dr. Francesca Beaudoin, Director of the Long COVID Initiative and Chair of the department of epidemiology [and Pandemic Center affiliate faculty member] at Brown University, joins 5 Things to explain.
There has been a great deal of focus on misinformation over the past few years. The concern is warranted, as we have been seeing more evidence(link is external) that false and misleading information is leading to poor health outcomes. Examples include following harmful advice online after a cancer diagnosis, lower rates for routine immunizations(link is external), and the use of untested beauty treatments.
...Experts that Scientific American spoke with agree that those who would benefit most from the fall COVID booster are people age 65 and above, as well as those who are chronically ill, immunocompromised or pregnant. “I always worry about the people for whom boosters would provide the greatest benefit, and that's people who are at high risk for severe illness. So people 65 and older and also people with underlying health conditions,” says Jennifer Nuzzo, a professor of epidemiology and director of the Pandemic Center at the Brown University of Public Health.
"Jennifer Nuzzo, DrPH, director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University, told Verywell you shouldn’t put COVID-19 out of your mind just yet, if ever. The virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but fortunately, there are tools available to keep you safe: namely, vaccines, medication, and testing.
'I would say that while we’re seeing an increase in infections, we are still nowhere near where we were last year, thankfully,' Nuzzo said."
Excerpt: "Reasonably at this point, if you're not high risk and do not have high exposures, waiting a few weeks to get the updated shot should be okay," Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, director of the pandemic center at Brown University School of Public Health, told ABC news.
There may be specific situations where you may want to play it safe, however, and get a booster shot now.
"If you think you're going to have considerable exposures, between then and now, some boosting is better," Nuzzo said. "The best time to get vaccinated is before you get infected."
Excerpt - Francesca Beaudoin, an emergency room physician and clinical epidemiologist who directs Brown University’s long-covid initiative, said the findings “capture what we are hearing at the narrative level from patients — that … the systems [affected after recovery from covid’s acute phase] are varied, that it results in loss of quality of life, loss of work and school.” Beaudoin said patients send her updates, reporting they still cannot walk one block without becoming worn out.
"Seth Berkley, who led Gavi, the vaccine alliance, for 12 years, will join Brown University Pandemic Center as a senior adviser starting Sept 1. Berkley will also serve as adjunct faculty in the Department of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health, Carmen reports."
But Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University School of Public Health, said if waste water data is showing infections going up in your area, and especially if you are considered high risk for complications from a COVID infection, she would advise someone who is at least six months past their last booster to get one now.
“That’s a tricky dance because we don’t know when the new shots are going to come available,” Nuzzo said. “I tend to be more, a bird-in-the-hand approach. The best time to get a vaccine is before you get infected.”
“As this virus continues to circulate, the potential for mutations to occur remains, and so we will see new genetic variants,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and director of the Pandemic Center at Brown University School of Public Health.
Things are tense on Congress’ sole committee dedicated to investigating the government response to Covid-19. Jennifer Nuzzo, Director of the Brown Pandemic Center, says that leaving the work to a partisan committee of lawmakers is dangerous for both public health and geopolitics.
The Pandemic Center sat down with Mr. Ledesma to dive into the results of his recent paper on pandemic preparedness, its impact on mortality rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what it can tell decision makers.
The vast majority of countries that entered the COVID-19 pandemic with strong capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats achieved lower pandemic mortality rates than less prepared nations, according to a major new study published today in BMJ Global Health. The analysis was led by researchers from the Brown University School of Public Health's Pandemic Center, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
To mark the anniversary of the onset of the 2022 outbreak, the Pandemic Center sat down with Dr. Philip Chan, MD, MS, to discuss the public health response, what we learned, and how we can better prepare for future emergencies.
Center Senior Advisor Wilmot James and Brown University School of Public Health's Andrew Iliff wrote this opinion piece on the Khartoum laboratory seizure and the biosecurity and biosafety lessons we can learn from it.
Faculty experts from Brown’s Pandemic Center, Jennifer Nuzzo, Beth Cameron, and Wilmot James, discussed efforts to prepare for the next infectious disease emergency at the School of Public Health’s 2023 Commencement Forum.